New Orleans:
Music, Culture and Civil Rights
An NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop for School Teachers

June 24-28, 2019

July 8-12, 2019

Workshop Overview

For three centuries, New Orleans has fostered the integration of African, Caribbean, European and Indigenous influences, persisted in the face of natural and manmade disasters, and influenced music and culture worldwide. New Orleans provides a distinct lens for examining how cultures combine to generate one-of-a-kind art forms, but a deeper examination of its historical, social, and political contexts tells an even richer story of how these forms evolved. An investigation of the intersection of music, culture, and civil rights in the city provides a fascinating window into how an environment of harsh social conditions and vast inequities can be the genesis of beautiful cultural forms, and how music itself can be rooted in seeking social justice for all.

New Orleans: Music, History and Civil Rights utilizes as its central landmark the City of New Orleans itself – allowing for an in-depth investigation of her influences and inequities, and authentic engagement with the living, evolving musical forms that have emerged from her complicated history.

Workshop At-A-Glance

Please note: The deadline has passed and we are unable to accept more applications for the 2019 Workshop at this time.



New Orleans must be experienced, as well as studied in the context of scholarly investigation, so we will visit sites across the city that explore the chronological development of musical forms in light of their historical contexts. An inquiry-driven model of instruction will utilize essential questions to guide us through scholarly presentations, performances, and research opportunities. You will have a chance to interview culture bearers, listen to musical recordings and oral histories, and view photographs and artifacts. The workshop also includes time for individual reflection and group discussion, as well as experiential activities that will engage you from a “first-learner” perspective. While developing an individual project to take back to your classroom, you will craft your own investigation of New Orleans music and gather research and resources relevant to your curriculum and students.

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Tulane University & Landmark Sites:

  • Congo Square
  • Claiborne Corridor
  • Historic Tremé
  • Backstreet Cultural Museum
  • St. Augustine Church
  • Preservation Hall